Sunday, December 08, 2013

TIME OUT FOR THE FLU

A million dollar question: Why even bother to get a flu  shot when you get the flu anyways?

Monday, December 02, 2013

DECEMBER PHOTO A DAY - DAY 2 (WHERE I STOOD)

Day 2 - As I stood gazing at the life-like figures of The Famine Memorial in Dublin, Ireland I was filled with such sadness for all those people who didn't survive the Great Famine (1845-1852) and I felt a deep admiration and gratitude for those who did. The spot on which I stood to take this picture was a spot dedicated to memorializing not only a million people who suffered and perished as a result of the Great Famine, but also another million people who survived and left Ireland during that time to seek a better life elsewhere for themselves and their families.  Let's also pay tribute to all the people who survived and stayed to rebuild and to carry on all the great Irish traditions and lifestyles that country proudly offers.  This spot holds a great significance to me because my ancestors left their homes and the only life they had ever known to emigrated to the United States via Canada from County Cork and County Kerry in 1852.   

Sunday, December 01, 2013

DECEMBER PHOTO A DAY - DAY 1 (RED)

As mentioned on November 25th, December Photo A Day starts with Day One's subject matter being the color red.  Red is a bold, expressive color and perfect for the month of December when much of the country's landscape is lifeless and drab.  The photo(s) I chose to post are one I took of a red gladiolus in my backyard this past spring and one I took of a red gerbera daisy growing in a flower pot at my niece's house in Belfast, Maine.  There I go again breaking the rules by posting two photos and neither were pictures I took today.  Now, that's the way I like to start a challenge...my way! Well, at least this one I started in the right order.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

ARE YOU GUILTY?

Technological advances in the past few decades have increased the ways in which we can and do communicate with each other. For the most part, those advances have been beneficial. Just think back to the day when we had no cell phones or home computers. We were forced to use
landline telephones and write handwritten letters that took days and sometimes weeks to deliver. Now, in the flash of a few seconds, we can have access to all our friends and family regardless of their location. After the introduction of email, the United States Postal Service felt a pinch because people seemed to prefer the speediness of email to the personal touch of a hand-written letter. I can't even remember the last time I sat down and wrote a letter nor do I remember the last letter I received. Nowadays the word "snail mail" seems to be synonymous with the word "bills", but when it comes time to pay those bills, many of us forego the ritual of bill paying by mail to do it via the internet or through automatic withdrawal. It's all about speed and convenience these days. And no, I don't yearn for the old days because I see most changes as necessary and as having more pros than cons.

As technological advances happen, our complaints also seem to become more sophisticated and aimed towards the technology on which we've grown increasingly dependent and not towards adhering to any type of email etiquette that should in many instances be just good old common sense. But there again, common sense seems to have been replaced by ignorance and apathy.  I find it ironic not to mention annoying that the people who used to complain incessantly about all the junk mail they would receive daily via the postal service and claimed it was both a waste of time and expense for the mailman to deliver all that garbage are the same people who have no problem with showing little courtesy or judgment where email is concerned. They always seemed to wonder why they got so much junk mail and how their names got on certain mailing lists and now, as they holler loudly about all the spam they receive in their email inboxes, they feel the overpowering need to pass along all sorts of garbage to everyone on their contact lists.

I think we all have a special friend or two who forwards everything they receive to everyone else on their contact list without thinking about how they're contributing to the junk mail problem or if they might be offending or annoying anyone with the things they pass along. Don't you just love all those stupid jokes, the mountains of religious and political propaganda that continually circulates and the chain mail type emails you receive promising good fortune to all those who keep the email going?  A similar trend on Facebook seems to be to coerce people to "share" posts as a sign of their support/loyalty for a certain cause or group or to be labeled as a good parent by acknowledging they have a handsome son or beautiful daughter. Just for the record, anyone who knows me knows I'm a devout heathen and a bleeding heart liberal who sees racism or any other amoral bandwagon as the wrong place to be.  Anyone who knows me knows I'd rather walk alone than with a bunch of pseudo Christians who hate everything and everyone who isn't a carbon copy of them. Anyone who knows me knows I love America, but I hate Americans who don't support, defend and respect each other's rights and freedoms. Last of all, anyone who knows me knows I'm such a good parent I hung pork chops around my children's necks to get the dogs to play with them when no one else would.

Below if a perfect example of something circulating on Facebook at this time of year:


 
If this is truly how you feel wouldn't it make more sense to actually do something for the troops to show your support rather than trying to make people feel guilty so they'll post this on their Facebook page?  What I understand is that actions speak a lot louder than words!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

THE BEAST WITHIN ME

As this year winds down, it's time for me to reflect on the things that affect my life the most.  In the past several years, my health issues have worsened, but I think I've finally gotten to the point of being so sick and tired of being sick and tired that it's time for me to dig down deep and grab whatever stamina I have left and try to save this slowly sinking ship.  2014 has got to be a year of change! Great things have got to happen!

Here's a list of my current health problems:

1. Insulin dependent Type ll Diabetes - uncontrolled, of course!  No doctor in the past 11 years
since I was diagnosed has been able to get my A1C in a normal range.  Trust me, EVERYTHING has been tried and it remains a mystery as to why my diabetes is so tenacious.  I wonder if it might have a genetic factor to it since my paternal grandmother had the same type of tenacity with treating her diabetes.  As an added bonus of my uncontrolled diabetes I developed diabetic neuropathy in my feet.  The burning sensation and stabbing pain is so bad at times it makes me want to cry.  Standing on my feet during these bouts is challenging and very painful.  Recently, I was put on Lyrica and that initially helped with easing the neuropathic pain in my feet and also with the "all over" pain I experience from fibromyalgia I was diagnosed as having about a decade ago.  My other diabetic related health problem is gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is another fun diabetic complication!  Food sits undigested in my stomach for long periods of time due to damaged nerves in my stomach.  It's hard to describe how good food tastes when it goes down and how putrid it is after sitting in my stomach for a day or so.  This condition causes pain in my upper gastric tract.  Needless to say, I eat A LOT of cottage cheese and applesauce which is easy to digest.  I do feel thankful that I haven't developed anything more serious as a result of my uncontrolled diabetes and hope my upcoming endocrinologist appointment will be a start to finding a solution to these problems. 
 
2. Pain - I'm lumping all my various spinal related issues into one large category called "PAIN".   In 2003, I had 2 disks in my neck fused.  At that time, I was told I had the neck of a 94 year old woman and was told I had several things going on with my back and neck.  After that surgery, I swore I'd never have another surgery because the recovery was so difficult.  "Never" lasted 9 years.  By the time I had my second neck surgery, I couldn't raise my head to eye level without it causing my arms to go completely numb.  It was next to impossible to function without the use of my arms and I knew the longer I put off surgery the more permanent the nerve damage was going to be, so it was back to the neurosurgeon to have 2 more disks fused.  From September 2012 to June 2013, a nine month period I had 3 back surgeries.  My neurosurgeon claims there isn't anything else he can do for me, so basically, I'm supposed to just grin and bear it but grinning and bearing it consists of days where I can barely walk or stand up straight due to the intense pain.  I have severe headaches from the muscles in my neck and back tightening and causing horrific muscle spasms, nausea and blurred vision.  I know I need to go get a second opinion, but I'm really afraid to do that.  I keep asking myself what I'm afraid of and I don't know if it's that someone will agree that there's nothing else that can be done for me or if someone will say I need more surgery.  Of course, I see a pain management specialist, but all that means is getting combos of potent narcotics to take.  I so hate doing that, but am forced to take the pain meds when I can't function any other way.  In 2009, I went off ALL my pain meds cold turkey because I wasn't getting the relief from them I should have been getting.  It was insane to keep filling my body with meds that were doing more harm than good.  Withdrawal took about a month of pure hell. Now 4 years later, I'm right back there again and the doctor wants to try me on what I call the "Dear Jesus" patch (Duragesic)  or Methadone because everything else I take or have taken just doesn't work.   I'm not sure how I feel about taking this next step.  I'll mull it over in the next couple of weeks before my next appointment with him and make some sort of decision. 

3.  Autoimmune hepatitis - The 3 most common autoimmune diseases are lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.  Apparently my body has decided it doesn't like my liver anymore.  Isn't that special?  Too bad it didn't decide to dislike the fat on my stomach and hips instead!  After having a complete work up (CT of the abdomen, abdominal ultrasound, labwork, etc.) followed by a liver biopsy, my doctor thought it was best that I go to Oschner's Clinic in New Orleans.  It's the closest transplant facility to where I live.  He felt it was a good idea for me to get in their system in case at some future date I need their services.  The following is a short rundown on what an autoimmune disease is if you're not familiar with it.
Our bodies have an immune system, which is a complex network of special cells and organs that defends the body from germs and other foreign invaders. At the core of the immune system is the ability to tell the difference between self and nonself: what's you and what's foreign. A flaw can make the body unable to tell the difference between self and nonself. When this happens, the body makes autoantibodies that attack normal cells by mistake. At the same time special cells called regulatory T cells fail to do their job of keeping the immune system in line. The result is a misguided attack on your own body. This causes the damage we know as autoimmune disease. The body parts that are affected depend on the type of autoimmune disease.
4. Sleep apnea -  Controlled with the use of a CPAP machine. This one I got scared into doing because my O2 stats had dropped to 73% while sleeping (anything under 90% is considered respiratory distress) and I had stopped breathing over 150 times per hour determined by a sleep study, but the good news was that I had also started breathing again over 150 times.  When the doctor reviewed the results of my sleep study, he was amazed that I hadn't had a stroke or a heart attack in my sleep.  That night I started using my CPAP machine and have used it every night since then.  I am a believer!

5. All the other "lesser" stuff - high blood pressure (controlled by meds), high cholesterol (controlled by meds), Vitamin D deficiency (in the process of being controlled by meds), GERD (controlled by meds), chronic insomnia (uncontrolled, but I do take Trazodone and it works sometimes), adult onset asthma (controlled by meds PRN)  I'm sure I've missed something, but quite frankly, my dear...I don't give a damn right now!  I'm off to take a nap because all of a sudden I desperately need one.

Update 2/19/14: I've been on 2 more rounds of 3 months of Vitamin D therapy but my lab values refuse to improve.  I have an appointment with an endocrinologist to address that and my diabetes.  I think I'm falling apart!

6. Depression and anxiety - This is something I've been in denial about for such a long time, but it's the silent, dark horse I ride.  I isolate myself so I don't have to be around people because I don't want them to see me suffer, but isolating myself is the worse thing I can do.  I know depression makes all ailments feel worse, but to treat it means taking more drugs and many of those drugs cause weigh gain and any weight gain makes my diabetes worse.  It's a vicious circle that seems to have no jumping off point.  I no longer know how to help myself.  At this point I don't know if there is any real help.


 

Monday, November 25, 2013

TRUTH #30 - WITH THE END COMES A NEW BEGINNING

This is Day 30 in 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS.

TRUTH #30 - Everything must come to an end eventually and with each ending comes a new beginning.  With that said, I'm so glad 30 SONGS in 30 DAYS and 30 TRUTHS in 30 DAYS is done.  So what's next?  Maybe this one will get us hermits out of our caves to take some photos to share with everyone!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

TRUTH #29 - A LIFE WITHOUT LOVE

This is Day 29 in 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS.

After weeping while rereading a post titled WORDS on one of my other blogs, my vision became crystal clear.  I really did it this time and I don't know quite how to undo the damage done or if I should even try to undo it at this point.  Apparently about 8 years ago I latched onto some negative ankle weights and from then on I've been struggling to stay afloat.  Stupid me, doesn't seem to know how to reach down and take those damn weights off.  Instead of doing what I've always done in the past which is make a mistake and move on, I decided to take a brief time-out to reflect upon how and why I always get into relationships that completely drain me dry.  That time-out has lasted 8 years.  I've always claimed sex causes brain damage and total blindness in some cases.  If what I claim is true, then at this point I must have the brain of a genius and the eyesight of an hawk.  Eight years of abstinence is INSANE! But I'm petrified to throw myself back out into the meat market.  The thought of starting over in a life that has no guarantees and of how risky/foolish it is to think it'll be different next time if I do take the plunge is maddening to me.  I just don't know if I have the stamina for all the work that a relationship requires.  I think I like having control over the remote control and doing things my way, but what an empty life it can be at times without having a plus one. 

Okay, so if I do ever take the plunge and cast myself out there again amongst the wolves and the pond swimming frogs how much should I reveal about my past to a "new" person?  I’ve always believed honesty is the best policy, yet many friends have told me that when I start a relationship I'm too upfront and too willing to disclose who I am.  I’ve been instructed to be less revealing and to hold back, to give myself in stages a little bit at a time and to be mysterious.  It’s funny, but I’ve never felt awkward  or embarrassed with anything I’ve revealed about myself and never felt any of it would be used against me in any way...until it was!  I think I open up as a way to let the other person see what’s inside and also, in hopes that they will do the same. Great in theory, but it hasn’t ever worked out that way! I've been in some great one-sided relationships! Okay, mysterious...got it!  I can be mysterious besides I have my blog to peel back the layers of this onion. 

I’m not one of those types who will excessively talk about an ex, although I do think some mention of the person or at least any past significant relationship might be appropriate under the right circumstances.  I know in the past, I've listened to guys do nothing, but talk about their ex as if they use that person as a measuring tape.  It grows old quickly especially when you’re trying to conduct a relationship with the bozo and feel like you drag a ghost around with you everywhere you go. "We used to eat here."  She always did this for me during the holidays."  We always used to celebrate our birthdays in a very special way." Blah! Blah! Blah! If she's that damn great, why aren't you still with her?  And why in hell are you wasting my time?
 
What appears obvious about those people is that not only are they holding onto the past, but they tend to get into rebound relationships where no one quite measures up to the person who broke their heart.  I have to admit that I was someone’s rebound once.  In fact, it was the relationship or I guess I should say nonrelationship I had 8 years ago that put me into this time-out abyss in which I live.  I really did know better, but somehow my heart got sucked into the equation before I could stop it and I ended up hanging on way past the time I should have let go.  Looking back I believe I did that because I saw what I thought was real potential, but in reality, the relationship was doomed due to the rebound factor. Statistically speaking, rebounds rarely work out even though anyone caught up in one always believes they will be the couple to beat the odds.  I had been single for awhile and he hadn’t.  Although they say rebound relationships are ordinarily conducted with someone you normally wouldn’t get involved with, I didn't believe this was so in our case.  I thought under different circumstances  and during another time, things could have/would have/should have been different, but that's just something I fooled myself into believing because I didn't want to admit I'd been a dumb ass and had been duped into being used. 
   
We discussed rebound relationships many times and neither of us wanted to admit that’s what was happening between us.  We both made excuses and overlooked stuff until I woke up one morning and made myself face reality.  Under different circumstances, he wouldn't have even given me the time of day.  I let go in stages because I simply didn’t have the strength to rip myself away all at once.  I have to admit that was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it was the right thing to do.  Unfortunately, doing the right thing hurts like hell sometimes…I just know I couldn’t have gone on being merely a distraction from his pain instead of who he really wanted to be with.  Now, I wonder if people only have a limited amount of capacity to love and be loved.  Could it be possible I used up all my chances on all the wrong people?  I'm so afraid I'll live the rest of my life never knowing what real love feels like.  That thought deeply disturbs me.

TRUTH #29 - Being alone is better than being with the wrong person and it's certainly better than being the wrong person for someone else.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

TRUTH #25, #26, #27 AND #28 - THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE

["TRUTHS" interrupted due to health issues or GONE FISHING whichever you like best]
This is Day 25, 26, 27 and 28 in 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS

TRUTH #25 - Saying "no" is one of the hardest things a person must learn how to do and it's also one of the most empowering words a person can say.

TRUTH #26 - People who want to share their religious and political views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

TRUTH #27 -  Logic will get you from A to B and imagination will get you everywhere else.

TRUTH #28 -  One of the most destructive forces known to man is gossip.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TRUTH #24 - PROCRASTINATION BLUES

This is Day #24 of 30 TRUTHS in 30 DAYS.

TRUTH #24 - Putting something off only makes it appear to be harder and scarier.
 
Repeat after me:
There's no time like the present to do whatever I need do.

Monday, November 18, 2013

TRUTH #23 - CHILDREN SAY THE DARNEST THINGS

This is Day #23 of 30 TRUTHS in 30 DAYS.

TRUTH # 23 - Children are remarkably honest creatures until we teach them not to be.

Yes, children are born into this world without filters especially when it comes to honesty.  As they grow up they learn how to cover the truth by using tact. Being truthful in many situations we are told hurts people's feelings and so honesty is pushed aside for something a little more humane, thus we witness the birth of lies! Children learn to lie for many reasons until all those reasons blend into one. As we become adults, some of us forget how or when to tell the truth because using "tact" is easier. But for a child the truth is always right there in the forefront waiting to be verbalized without hesitation or malice. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

TRUTH #22 - TEACHING BY THE EXAMPLE WE SET

This is Day #22 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS


  
TRUTH #22 - Most of what children learn from their parents isn’t taught on purpose. 

When you stop and think about how malleable a child is and how careless and blind an adult can be at times, the combination often times leads to lifelong scars.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

TRUTH #21 - THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD


This is Day #21 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS

  
TRUTH #21 - Words are immensely powerful. One cruel remark can wound someone for life.

They always say the pen is mightier than the sword and I have to agree.

PLAYSTATION4 AND THE IGNORANT MOTHER

I'm going to just throw this out here to get the elephant in the room properly introduced.  Hello! I'm an ignorant mother!  No, no!  Not that kind of mother!  I'm the kind of mother who is fairly ignorant when it comes to PS4's.  Preorder?  Why would I want to do something sensible like that?  I'm more a fly by the seat of my pants kind of optimist! Plus how would I know that I need to preorder something that meaningless to me? Why not either drive to or call every place in Northwest Florida a few hours before the 12:01 am release date in hopes of purchasing a PlayStation4 instead? 

Why not with the few ounces of sanity I have left conjure up a story about my dying son and his dying wish to own a PS4? Why not get lied to by every sales associate I speak with?  You know how I love to get jerked around!  Two Toys R Us employees told me as they were closing their doors at 10pm, that they had 9 systems available for sale.  They quickly told me they would NOT not be reopening at 12:01am to sell them like other stores plan to do.  Their store opens at precisely at 9am the next day and that's when their 9 non-preorder PS4's would be available for sale.  At precisely 9am I was at the store and was told they were sold out.  Wait a minute!  I looked around and the store was empty.  There were no lines! The cashiers were huddled in a circle no doubt discussing ignorant mothers, but I'm told that the systems that were there at closing the night before were already sold.  To whom? Fucking ghosts?  It was the same story at Best Buy, Walmart, Gamestop and Target.  The moral to this part of the story is DO NOT delude yourself into believing that the suppliers are governed by any type of rules regarding PS4's .  They do what they want to do!  Just because you may read on anyone's website that tickets will handed out at a certain time, what you'll find out is that the tickets have already been distributed by that time and not at that time. Yes, Best Buy I'm talking about you! I doubt I'll ever stop there again!

I've also discovered that PS4's are like the holy grail of gaming systems. According to their users they rank right up their with all new electronics gadgets requiring a sacred release date.  Wait a minute!  Why do they require a release date cloaked in so much hubbub that it makes an ignorant mother's head spin?  Why not just manufacture a bunch of these gems and then sell them without all the hoopla and drama?  If they put a thousand systems at each store who sells them, a thousand systems will be sold by Christmas.  It's supposed to be about supply and demand, people!  But the only flaw in that economic rule is that there isn't enough supply to cover the demand.  I was told it drives the demand up.   Isn't that special? And of course, NO ONE knows when more systems will be available for sale.  Really?  Someone knows!  The marketing people, CEO's and stock holders must laugh their asses off over each release date.  Their motto is, "Let's just screw with all these pathetic bastards especially the ignorant mothers!  They deserve it the most!" But why should I, the ignorant mother be penalized?

Look, I got so desperate that I was going to start offering sexual favors for the golden Willie Wonka ticket, BUT I was afraid my delicate ego might get crushed.  I might get offered a very used Atari instead of a chance to buy one of the FEW PS4 systems each store seemed to have for sale.  I think it's time for the ignorant mothers of the world to UNITE and say "we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!"

To my oldest born son:  Happy birthday!  I love you!  I had this last minute GREAT idea of buying you a PS4 for your birthday, but the manufacturers are obviously against ignorant mothers, SO you will not be receiving a PS4.  But don't blame me. Blame it on that anti-Christ, Andrew House!

"Today's launch of PS4 represents a milestone for all of us at PlayStation, our partners in the industry, and, most importantly, all of the PlayStation fans who live and breathe gaming every day," said Andrew House, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "With unprecedented power, deep social capabilities, and unique second screen features, PS4 demonstrates our unwavering commitment to delivering phenomenal play experiences that will shape the world of games for years to come."

The only thing Andrew House forgot to say is " and screw ignorant mothers!"  I'm thoroughly convinced Sony Computer Entertainment Inc likes the cluster fuck they created and Andrew House resides in Hell. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

DAY 30 - A SONG I WANT PLAYED AT MY FUNERAL


This is the final day/Day #30 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS  (Horray) and Day #20 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS

 
The raucous, rotten, saucy part of me wants all attending my bon voyage party to do the fish cheer (Give me a 'F", Give me a "U"...) as loud and as meaningful as they possibly can just to break the ice. I want to be able to hear the back row! No slackers on this one!
 
I wrote a set of "House Rules" to govern my bon voyage party and I'm compiling a cd of music to be played so EVERYTHING is taken out of my children's hands at the time of my transition into the great beyond.  They just need to follow directions! ha! Like that's going to happen in this lifetime!  One of the songs I selected was a song James Taylor wrote and sang for John Belushi when he died.  I always thought it was a powerful song sung straight from his heart.
 
 
HOUSE RULES
 


1. THIS SOIREE WILL NOT BE TREATED LIKE A FORMAL FUNERAL…IT’S JUST NOT MY STYLE SO DON’T YOU DARE MAKE PEOPLE DRESS UP IN BLACK, BE SOMBER (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH BEING SOBER) AND FEEL MORE UNCOMFORTABLE THAN THEY ALREADY ARE. IF YOU HAVE TO PRAY AND ACT GLOOMY THEN DO IT ON YOUR OWN TIME AND NOT ON MINE.


2. NO BORING EULOGIES FILLED WITH LOVELY LIES ARE ALLOWED, BUT LAUGHING AND FUNNY STORIES ABOUT ME ARE A MUST! I’M SURE EACH OF YOU CAN COME UP WITH A FUNNY "KAREN" STORY TO SHARE WITH EACH OTHER. SOME OF YOU PROBABLY CAN WRITE A BOOK FILLED WITH FUNNY "KAREN" STORIES!


3. ABSOLUTELY NO CRYING IS ALLOWED.


4. NO BITCHING ABOUT THE MUSIC I SELECTED IS ALLOWED.


5. IN ACCORDANCE OF A PROPER IRISH WAKE: IF ANYONE BITCHES OR CRIES THEY HAVE TO COMPLETELY FINISH AN ALCOHOLIC DRINK EACH TIME THEY BITCH OR CRY.


6. SINCE MY DAUGHTER ISN’T GOING TO FOLLOW THE NO CRYING RULE THAT MEANS SHE’S GOING TO GET VERY DRUNK AND WILL NEED A WHEELBARROW TO CART HER AROUND FOR THE DURATION OF THIS PARTY (YES, I SAID PARTY AND IT DAMN WELL BETTER RESEMBLE A PARTY AND NOT A FRIGGING FUNERAL)


7. DO NOT LET JOSH GRAHAM PUT ANY DEVIL DUST (FINELY GROUND GHOST PEPPERS) IN MY ASHES


8. IF POT IS LEGAL AT THE TIME, THEN BY ALL MEANS FIRE UP A JOINT.


9. IF POT IS STILL ILLEGAL, I SAY FUCK IT…FIRE UP A JOINT ANYWAY.


10. IN THE COMING DAYS, PLEASE DON’T ACT LIKE SO MANY FAMILIES ACT DURING TIMES LIKE THESE. THERE'S NO REASON TO ARGUE AND PUSH EACH OTHER AWAY. YOU ALL WILL NEED EACH OTHER, SO DO THE RIGHT THING AND BE THE PEOPLE I RAISED YOU TO BE. I LOVE EACH OF YOU WITH ALL MY HEART AND I WILL BE WITH YOU ALWAYS. THIS IS NOT A FINAL FAREWELL, BUT JUST A SEE YOU LATER. SOMEDAY WE'LL BE COSMIC STAR DUST TOGETHER.  UNTIL THEN PARTY ON AND GIVE ME A PROPER SEND OFF.

TRUTH #20 -
The great tragedy of life is not that people perish, but that they cease to love.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

DAY 29 - MY FAVORITE LOVE SONG

This is Day #29 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #19 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS

This selection is as difficult as all the rest have been.  Perhaps breaking it down by decade or by lovers I've had would have made it easier for me.  Instead, I'll pick a song that reminds me of no one.  I think all my relationships have been dress rehearsals for the real thing. 

TRUTH #19 - Love is a two way street of give and take. That's a street I've never lived on...not yet!  It intersects with hopes and dreams and that avenue is one I've travelled many times.



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DAY 28 - A SONG NO ONE WOULD EXPECT ME TO LOVE

This is Day #28 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #18 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS

First let me say, I'm not a Barbra Streisand fan, but this song reminds me of a friend who passed away several years ago.   To me, Michael was a beautiful and tender as the lyrics and Barbra's voice singing them.  When this movie was first released, Michael and I went to see it.  He was in the Marines then and whenever he'd come home on leave, we'd always go out.  If you didn't catch it the first time 'round, here's the links to REMEMBERING MICHAEL PART 1 and PART TWO.

TRUTH #18 - You don't have to be a fan of someone to be able to recognize and appreciate their talent. 



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DAY 27 - MY FAVORITE ROAD TRIP SONG

This is Day #27 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #17 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS

I woke up yesterday morning with this song playing in my head.  Despite feeling really sick, I had the overwhelming urge to head out on the road.  I  just needed to be someplace else.  Instead, I gave into feeling sick.  I went back to bed.  I loved this song when Bob Seger did it years ago, but when Metallica did it as a cover, they kicked it up several degrees. 

TRUTH #17 - "If I could start my life all over again, I would make the same exact choices that I've made." (Ginger Lynn)  

It's who I was, it's who I am and it's who I'll always be! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

DAY 26 - A SONG I WISH I COULD PLAY ON AN INSTRUMENT

This is Day #26 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #16 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS
(I took a day off from doing this list...oops! There I go breaking the rules again.)

I know not everyone in the world likes this type of music and for those of you who aren't a fan, you'll have to trust me when I say if we could step back in time and channel some love into Axl Rose maybe Guns N Roses would still be together. What a shame that talent and chemistry like this was wasted. If I could play the guitar like Slash, I'd be known, respected and idolized the whole world through. Oh wait a minute! He already is!


TRUTH #16 - Sometimes we all overlook our talents and take them for granted.  Sometimes the more talented we are, the more hell bent on destruction we are.  The solution may be to wear blinders and to not listen to any other voice than the one that governs our hopes and dreams.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

DAY 25 - A SONG I WISH I HAD WRITTEN

This is Day #25 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #15 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS

I think there's a "Hotel California" in every state, in every country and in each of us at some time in our lives...

TRUTH #6 - We all have felt trapped and helpless at times.  Remember this the next time you feel like giving up.  There's two ways out: the easy way and the right way.  This makes me think of a Carlos Castenada quote:

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”  



Friday, November 08, 2013

DAY 24 - A SONG BY A BAND I HATE

This is Day #24 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #14 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS

I've got to select the "27 Club" for this one.  Are you scratching your head and saying, "WHO????"  It's all those terrific musicians who left us at the age of 27.  Yes, I love their music, BUT I hate them for robbing their fans. I hate them for selling out.  I hate them for taking the easy way out.  I hate them for setting such bad examples.  I hate them for being weak.  And I hate them for being selfish.  Each time I hear a song by any of them it makes me angry that their inner demons had such control over their lives and ultimately their deaths.   The song I selected is for ALL the members of the 27 Club who are in rock 'n roll heaven.  R.I.P.

TRUTH #14 - Giving into your inner demons is selling out to inner peace. 

 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

DAY 23 - A SONG FROM THE FIRST CONCERT I ATTENDED

This is Day #23 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #13 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 

The year was 1969 and it was winter.  I had gone downtown to purchase tickets for the James Taylor/Carole King concert while it was 25 below zero.  By the time I got home I was just about frozen, but I had tickets in hand for my first concert.  That's all that mattered! 

TRUTH #13 - Nothing in life comes without a price or sacrifice.




Wednesday, November 06, 2013

DAY 22 - AN INSPIRATIONAL SONG

This is Day #22 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #12 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 

Sorry folks, but this one chokes me up so I can't type right now.

TRUTH #12 - When you can't type, DON'T!

THE PROSTATE AWARENESS BLUES

When I first started blogging back in the Stone Age (2004), I became blogging buddies with many people on MS Spaces.

[Side note]  I wish someone would coin a term for "blogging buddies".  How about calling them "bluddies"?

One bluddy who won my heart through his written words is jockfullonuts or Jnuts as I dubbed him as we discovered we were not only kindred spirits, but also Siamese twins separated at a very young age.  Although this is a repost, I find it just as appropriate for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2013 as it was when I first wrote it. 

Here is Jock's rant titled "Footloose and Diaper Free" :
So, it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. There was no rectal exam. This was merely a PSA blood test. If my bloodwork comes back elevated, I will worry about the old finger bang at that time. Which is fine, as my 'roids have been acting up lately and the only way someone is going to shove anything up my ass is after they give me a bottle of tequila and they are in possession of a jackhammer.

When asked if I wanted the rectal in addition to the PSA, I politely declined by saying, "only if you buy me dinner and call me daddy." My offer was refused. I DID get a Tootsie Pop and a blue ribbon enameled pin signifying "Prostate Awareness." I was already aware I had a prostate, but I took the pin anyway.



How could I leave that alone? I honestly tried, but the force was strong within him! I answered the call of the wild with my own little twist titled "A Visit To Dr. Pain's Office" but included his delightful and very insightful words on my blog as a lead in for what I wanted to say:
I'd like to take this opportunity and turn a simple medical diagnostic test into a Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus moment. I believe every man I've ever known who has had a prostate exam has described the doctor as having fingers the size of tree limbs and the personality of Marquis de Sade. It's not difficult to picture the doctor coming into the examining room, snapping those latex gloves and telling the patient that the procedure may be a little uncomfortable. Uncomfortable? How about humiliating? And the poor fool isn't even being offered dinner and a movie to go along with it!

I know medical staff do their best to preserve a person's dignity, but how dignifying can a prostate exam be if you're a male or a Pap smear and mammogram be if you're a female? The majority of people reserve access to the vajayjay, the twins and the Incredible Hulk exclusively for their significant other. Now, here we are with an almost total stranger and we're PAYING them to prod and poke us. Nope, we aren’t in some sleazy motel with a prostitute! We're in an examining room with our doctor!

From a woman's perspective, I'd have to say Pap smears and mammograms are most likely the equivalent to the prostate exam. Guys, you're lucky because prostate exams aren't routinely done until a man reaches middle age. Ladies have to endure the joy of Pap smears and pelvic exams annually from the time they first become sexually active. Mammograms aren't started until later, but are routinely done at an earlier age than when prostate exams are started.

For the men who have never had their significant other complain about the whole female going to the gynecologist ordeal, let me fill you in. We not only get the Pap smear and pelvic exam, but we get a rectal exam also. We also have a breast exam and then are sent to have a mammogram depending on what age we are. What can I really say about having a complete stranger stuff my breasts into a cold metal vice and flattening them to the width of a pancake except, "oh boy! Where can I get one of those gadgets to have at home?" (Okay ladies...are you laughing with me?)

I guess the most difficult part of the whole exam experience is the waiting for the results part. Yep! We feel great! We didn't notice any lumps or any other abnormalities, but you never know! You always hear horror stories about someone who feels great one minute and then finds out they have cancer the next. I'm not a fretter and can only imagine what the wait for test results must be like for someone who worries about every little thing in life. They must drive themselves and everyone around them crazy in that period of time. How does anyone reassure or console someone like that?  Crushed valium sprinkled over ice cream, perhaps?  Or a several shots of their favorite liquid poison?

I have a suggestion for both genders. Guys, do something special for your lady to let her know you're there with her in spirit during this process. It doesn't take much to let someone know you care about them. A nice dinner out? A romantic getaway for both of you? Ladies, the same goes for you. Our guys need support, too (remember they're whiners!). How about tickets to a ballgame, taking him to a movie he wants to see (and you pay for it or it doesn't count) or buying something slinky from Victoria's Secret to wear for him? Just remember it's the thought that counts and doing something small may mean the world to the person you love. Actions always speak louder than words and here's an excellent opportunity to say 'I love you" very loudly!


So there you have it except for the comment our beloved Jock left for me as a response to what I had written:
Leave it to you to take my insipid tale about Nurse Ratched and turn it into something extremely worthwhile. I loved it and agree, except for one thing. Men are whiners? Oh, you must die! I'd come over there and slap you, but my back is killing me because I had to do dishes today. Damn, the pain is so intense from standing there it feels like I'm getting ready to give birth! Oh, and my hands are now all pruny and I think I'm coming down with the flu, because I've been sneezing and have a headache. Although, the headache could be from standing over the sink while steam rising from the water made me dizzy and disoriented. Mommy! I need to take a nap.
 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

DAY 21 - A SONG I CAN DANCE TO

This is Day #21 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #11 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 

The most amazing thing happened one night as I walked along the beach.  I stopped to rest where a boardwalk and stairs had been built.  I sat on the stairs watching a large group of young people down near the water singing gospel music.  They were illuminated by the bonfire they had just built.  One of the guys in the group slipped away and went to his rather large "boombox".  What I expected to come blazing from the box was more church music, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Amidst the smoke and fire and the surf rushing onto the sand, Pink Floyd split the night air like a bolt of lightening crashing to earth.  As soon as the music begun the young man started dancing around the bonfire.  The crowd he was with lagged back to watch as the spirit filled only him.  He danced with conviction and such joy.  It was beautiful and infectious.  Before I knew it, I was drawn to the fire like a moth.  Rhythmically, I started dancing too and before long a few more joined in.  As the music ended, I simply backed away from the fire and continued my walk down the beach.

TRUTH # 11 - If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding!  



Monday, November 04, 2013

DAY 20 - MY FAVORITE TV THEME SONG

This is Day #20 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #10 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 

TV theme songs are supposed to have a catchy tune and lyrics.  Do you remember the themes from Cheers, The Adams Family and Welcome Back, Kotter?  I vote for the theme from True Blood because it's so seductive.

TRUTH #10 - Sometimes being naughty, but nice is the best way to be!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

DAY 19 - A SONG THAT MAKES ME HAPPY

This is Day #19 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #9 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 
 
Life is like a rollercoaster ride with lots of ups and downs. It's noisy and scary at times and sometimes our heightened anticipation meets with an uneventful climax. The amazing thing about life is that worrying about things NEVER changes the outcome. If we all just relax a little and take ten deep breaths before reacting, we might find sometimes things change in the blink of an eye. The impossible becomes possible and the strength we thought we didn't have is right there when we need it most. I always say things happen just the way they were meant to happen. Remember slow and steady wins the race so don't worry, be happy!
 
TRUTH #9 - THINGS YOU SHOULD GIVE UP TO BE HAPPY:
 
    1. Give up your need to always be right
    2. Give up your need for control
    3. Give up on blame
    4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk
    5. Give up your limiting beliefs
    6. Give up complaining
    7. Give up the luxury of criticism
    8. Give up your need to impress others
    9. Give up your resistance to change
    10. Give up labels
    11. Give up on your fears
    12. Give up your excuses
    13. Give up the past
    14. Give up attachments
    15. Give up living your life to meet other people's expectations


Saturday, November 02, 2013

DAY 18 - A SONG I LOVE TO SING

This is Day #18 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #8 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 

I've been a Stones fan since I was a child. Whenever my older brothers would play their early music, I thought it was so wickedly decadent and it made me feel so alive and excited. I just loved the way Mick Jagger would strut across stage like he owned the world and didn't care what anyone else thought. Now, we're all older, but the Stones still make me feel alive and excited whenever I hear their music.

TRUTH #8 - Staying young at heart is a conscious choice reflected by our actions and attitudes towards the world around us.  Those who stay young at heart don't wither on the vine.  They continue to blossom until the end.


Friday, November 01, 2013

DAY 17 - A SONG THAT REMINDS ME OF SOMEONE

This is Day #17 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #7 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 

I've been in a funk the last several days because I just learned an old friend from Kinsman Hall passed away.  I know the death rate amongst us is a lot higher than the normal death rate of people our age.  I know that even though we all slow down, that fast and furious life style we once lived takes its toll in so many unexpected ways.  Each time I learn of an old friend's death, it's never any easier.  It always makes me realize just how fragile and short life is and how each day we all are just one step closer to our own demise.  

This song was one of Pat's favorites when I knew her.  So this one's for you, Pat.  You may be gone, but you'll never be forgotten.

TRUTH #7 -  Death is something people need not fear.  It's something each of us was born to do, so live your life as you would want to spend eternity...in peace!

  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

DAY 16 - A SONG THAT MAKES ME SAD

This is Day #16 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #6 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 

I picked this song for obvious reasons.  It's so haunting yet beautiful.  I've been to many military funerals, but the one I remember most was that of a dear friend.  After Taps was played and while the guns were being fired, the Blue Angels flew over (they were out practicing that day for an upcoming airshow).  It made me smile because I knew Michael would have really liked that type of send off...

TRUTH #6 - Sometimes even the saddest things have beauty in them if we just open our eyes and see with our hearts. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

DAY 15 - A SONG THAT REMINDS ME OF SOMEWHERE

This is Day #15 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #5 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 

                    CONGRATULATIONS RED SOX

TRUTH #5 - When you truly believe then anything is possible.  Just ask the Red Sox!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DAY 14 - MY FAVORITE SONG FROM A MOVIE

This is Day #14 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #4 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 

Okay, I know I'm not following the song list, but since I've always done things my way I figure it's appropriate for me to deviate from the list wherever it suits me. Besides a few of the days seemed redundant to me so I just decided to do my own thing. With that said, it's difficult to pick just one song from a movie, because there are so many great ones. I picked I Don't Want To Miss A Thing from Armageddon because I love the Demon of Screamin' (Steven Tyler). Not only have I seen this movie a gazillion times, it has a special significance to me because my son and his wife played this song for their first dance together at their wedding reception over 12 years ago.

Honorable mention would be, Everything I Do, I Do It For You from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves...another movie I've seen a gazillion times.  Who knew Kevin Costner had such a fine ass!  I think he should have gotten naked more often!


TRUTH #4 - As long as we live and breathe nothing is constant, but change.  As we grow and change so does the world around us. Some change is slow and subtle, while other changes occur in the blink of the eye.  Those of us who are flexible and can accept change as it happens are the people who find inner peace.  We let go of trying to control everything around us because we know the only thing we can control are our actions and our reactions.  There comes a certain freedom in adopting a live and let live attitude.  I can evolve!  You can evolve!  And harmony can exist between the two if we let it. 


Monday, October 28, 2013

DAY 13 - A SONG THAT I LISTEN TO WHEN I'M ANGRY

This is Day #13 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #3 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 
It seems appropriate to have this song on day #13, since the number 13 is synonymous with bad luck and horrible calamities.  I love this song because it's in your face raucous and sounds exactly like someone who is pissed off at the whole world.

TRUTH #3 - It's better to be pissed off than to be pissed on. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

DAY 12 - A SONG THAT REMINDS ME OF A CERTAIN EVENT

This is Day #12 of 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and Day #2 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS. 
War lives on in some for the rest of their lives.  To the injured and the down-trodden often times coming home is the start of a new war they must battle.  The new, silent ninja-like enemy is faceless and lives everywhere.  It's like some emotional vampire who feeds on the most vulnerable. "War is hell" is such a huge understatement and so is "the horrors of war" when used to inadequately describe what a veteran and their friends and loved ones feel and live in war's aftermath.  The dead no longer suffer, but their legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of all who knew them.  We, the living, the ones who care and love suffer for the deceased and with the emotionally bankrupt survivors. 

TRUTH #2 - We are all connected.  I know that's a tremendous concept to grasp especially if you feel all alone.  REMEMBERING GRACE reaffirmed this concept for me in her blog post titled I hate boxes, part five....  As I read her testimony to how being the adult child of an alcoholic has affected her life, I found myself nodding and recognizing myself in her words.  I realized that no matter how alone we feel at times, that state of being is by choice. I realized that the human race is all connected by a common thread called humanity.  Sometimes we do everything in our power to break that thread so we can suffer in silence, but the thread is strong like the written word which beckons to each of us to outstretch our hands and share what's lurking underneath the surface. Yes, we are all connected!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

DAY 11 - A SONG THAT IS A GUILTY PLEASURE

This day #11 in 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS and before anyone especially the guys out here in this beautiful utopia we call blogland think I've lost my mind, let me first assure you I am in no way a Lorena Bobbitt type of woman.  With that said, let me explain why I picked this song as a guilty pleasure.  Any woman who is honest will admit contemplating doing real bad things to her honey if she's ever been in a  relationship with a real douche/tool/playa/asshole/scumbag/bully/bastard etc. etc. Yes, I know you guys have your terms of endearment and pet names for us, too! Most of us ladies don't take revenge past just thinking about it, just like most guys don't smack a woman around when she angers them. 

Since this is also the Day #1 of 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS, this can be my first truth...if you treat a woman badly, she will at the very least conjure up elaborate visions of hurting you as badly as you have hurt her.  So isn't it just easier to play nicely, to share your toys and to put the toilet seat down after using it? But if you don't really like where you're at then just leave. PERIOD! Life is much too short to waste it on being with the wrong person.


Friday, October 25, 2013

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE

Lately, I've been avoiding writing anything of substance on here. Mildred has taken a hiatus for the time being to complete 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS.  Most probably see it as me hanging out a sign stating "Gone Fishing. Will return next month." To most 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS probably seems like a rather trivial task, but for someone who has a difficult time completing anything thus keeping success at bay, it's a major deal to look at this list everyday and go through the angst of the internal dialogue it generates.  Deciding what song to choose is the first step and usually it takes awhile to dig inside myself to find just the right song choice. Next, I go on to argue with myself for awhile over the list being stupid and I'm wasting my time. Finally, I post a song to be one day closer to the 30 day completion mark...all the while never really feeling as if I can or will complete it.  You talk about commitment phobia!
I can't even begin to express all the things I've started in life and tossed aside because succeeding is way too scary for me.  Yes, failure sucks, but I know what that feels like.  It's familiar, it's safe and it keeps everyone's expectations of me at a very low, manageable level. The frustration I feel over being an intelligent woman who probably could have done anything she wanted to do in life, yet chose to do nothing is immense and overwhelming.  I'm sure it's a by-product of battling addiction most of my life...one of those lovely, inner demons whose soul mission it is to destroy whatever and whenever it can.  Sometimes it's more than I can bare. Success is a distant, unknown entity and might as well be like me traveling to some distant solar system. 
 
Meanwhile on my other blog, HANDPRINTS IN THE ATTIC I recount my younger years in Maine.
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Mildred. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life-forms and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before.   
While "exploring" out here in the blogosphere I came across another blogger searching for the same inner peace I seek.  Her words in SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL touched me deeply and they definitely deserve to be paid forward by sharing her link with others.  One must be able to embrace the truth in order to change, but sometimes I can't embrace what I refuse to see.  Sometimes the truth is harsh and it rips off a few scabs, but when the wound finally heals properly you can barely see the scar.  Perhaps I should do 30 TRUTHS IN 30 DAYS along with my song choices.  Now, that would really be like World War III inside my head!